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What do I need to know about adopting a greyhound?

(24 Posts)
NeatFreak Thu 27-Nov-14 09:34:27

After lots of thoughts and discussion we have agreed we would like to adopt a dog (not a puppy). I think a greyhound or lurcher would be our top choice but would appreciate any thoughts, advice or no-nos!
We have three dc aged 11,7 and 18 months. I work part time and will be out the house for 3-4 hours twice a week. We've got a fully enclosed garden with high fences, space for a crate where the dc won't hassle the dog and plenty of space indoors. We have someone who would call in and walk the dog for us if we were out for longer than that and will also look after it in their house if we go away.
We've budgeted for it and have had a dog in the past (pre-dc) so know how much it will cost.
I'm in the initial stages of arranging a home check but we are going away for Christmas then again in January so it would probably be better to wait until February to avoid disrupting any routine.
Please tell me if there is anything I haven't considered or if there is something I need to do to out routines/ our house before adopting a dog- all advice greatly appreciated smile

CMOTDibbler Thu 27-Nov-14 09:54:07

I have two lurchers from EGLR, and I love them dearly. My older one came as a 6 month old failed hare courser (bless him, he has no prey drive at all and is the softest thing on this planet), and the puppy was born in rescue as his mum was dumped very heavily pregnant.

Mine are fine to be left for 4 hours, but obv this is something you'd have to ask about each dog individually. We have a baby gate on the kitchen as they are terrible stealers.
Ours go out for an off lead run (we are v lucky to have a green space opposite the house) twice a day for 15 mins or so a time, plus long walks in the woods/at the park/ on the hills at the weekend. Older dog doesn't approve of the rain at all, even with a waterproof coat on, and refuses to go out if its wet - he is very fine coated and a bony type. Puppy has much more coat and is chunkier so is more likely to venture out.

Generally, sighthounds need an outdoor coat in the winter and many need a fleece housecoat. They like big, flat beds to lie on, and don't normally lie on hard floors due to the bonyness. You need either a harness or a wide collar to walk them on as their necks are delicate - I use a martingale collar which stops it slipping over their head.

NeatFreak Thu 27-Nov-14 10:01:23

Thanks. That's really helpful. I'm hoping to rehome through EGLR as we are only 40 minutes away from them.
I'm quite handy with a sewing machine so I was thinking I could make some doggy coats for all seasons wink
The large space I kentiones is our kitchen- it's all open plan with a playroom / utility and dining/ seating area leading off it but maybe it would be too much foody temptation! I have a separate lounge but it's my haven with lovely carpets etc so I had planned to keep it child and dog free...
I read that they should eat off a raised bowl- is that right?

CMOTDibbler Thu 27-Nov-14 10:44:26

You may not be very far from me then smile

Yes, they should have raised bowls as otherwise they are reaching down a lot and it can be a risk for bloat. It also keeps their bowls in one place which is handy.

Another thing is that you shouldn't use extending leads - with a dog that can do 35-40 mph they give them a chance to get very fast by the end of the lead, hurting you both.

It might be good to start reading about recall training now - I like 'Total Recall' - as its very important for sighthounds. Mine are whistle trained (we have a number of matched frequency gundog whistles), and I trained ds(8) to recall to it too which is most useful in the woods!

NeatFreak Thu 27-Nov-14 13:27:15

Small world! We are 40 minutes south smile
Sounds like there isn't much I hadn't read about or thought about.
My only reservation, from the point of view of both us as a family and the rescue is the ages of my younger two: part of my reason for choosing this breed was because of the high likelihood of them being child friendly but are they normally ok with toddlers too?

NeatFreak Thu 27-Nov-14 13:28:21

Do you let yours off lead and/ or use a muzzle? We have lots of green space nearby and a field on our doorstep but lots of other dogs and millions of squirrels!

CMOTDibbler Thu 27-Nov-14 18:25:51

Ours are off lead without muzzles - ddog is totally cat safe and only barks at pigeons. He might run to a tree that a squirrel has gone up, but thats it. Dpuppy bounces at things, but the most it gets is an air snap.

Obv some sighthounds are bouncier than others which can be an issue with little ones, and some older dogs may be grumpy with small people, but in general I think they are great. EGLR foster all their dogs so they do know them very well and would be careful to ensure any dog you were interested in was child safe.

If you wanted to meet my hounds, I'd be v happy to meet up one weekend

NeatFreak Thu 27-Nov-14 19:58:41

Thanks so much, that is so kind of you. I may well take you up on that offer- are you near Glos?
All three dc are dog mad but dc3 is really bouncy and loud so that worries me a little...

TheCunnyFunt Fri 28-Nov-14 09:14:41

We adopted our greyhound when DD was 7.5 months old, she's 3.6yrs now. The rescue should match you up with a dog that'll suit your family. As long as you teach your children to respect the dog and to stay out of its bed there shouldn't be problems.

My greyhound hardly goes off lead as he has high prey drive. He only goes off if his doggy friends are there too, they provide a distraction and stop him looking for his own entertainment, ie, things to chase grin

For collars check out Meggie Moo. Their stuff is gorgeous and very well made, the lady that runs MM regularly goes to a lab to have her collars and metalwork tested for strength etc.

For coats check out Milgi Coats. The owner is a MNetter and she's absolutely lovely, will bend over backwards you out and can make coats for any shape or size, they've done cat coats and a mahoosive coat for an Irish Wolfhound, the back length was over 40"!!

Good luck, and we demand pictures grin

TheCunnyFunt Fri 28-Nov-14 09:16:06

They bend over backwards to help you out <sigh>

NeatFreak Fri 28-Nov-14 10:59:47

Thanks so much, that's so helpful.
I've been told that they don't tend to moult very much and also don't smell... It isn't a deal breaker but is this accurate?!
Do most of you use a crate even just at the beginning? I definitely have space to keep the dog separate from everyone else if needed but I think I need a shopping list grin

Funghoul Fri 28-Nov-14 11:18:15

My brother has 2 rescue greyhounds and I have an 18m dd. they tend to leave her alone mostly, or stay out of her way completely. We need to watch her more carefully than them as she wants to stroke them etc when they don't want the fuss. Over time they have come to tolerate her more and occasionally appoach her to let her have a fuss. They are all over her at mealtimes though and she can quite happily feed them her entire dinner. Both dogs are like gannets and will eat anything and everything. Db would often come home to find that they had teamed up and eaten food from cupboards, once even managing to puncture tins of dog food with their teeth.

They are lovely dogs, very lazy, like the warm and comfy spots to lay, and hate the rain. The only negative that db has encountered is a neighbour telling him they are vicious. He lets them run on a open space behind his house, only when there are no other dogs around. Their mouths are open when they run so you see teeth, neighbour takes this to mean that they are going to attack for some reason. A couple of other people think that because they are greyhounds they have been trained to run catch and kill small animals so are a danger when in fact they are both rescue dogs who have had horrendous starts in life and are scared of an awful lot. Greyhounds are lovely dogs and when dd is a little bigger I would love one in our family.

TheCunnyFunt Fri 28-Nov-14 20:22:24

They're low-level shedders, nowhere near as bad as Labradors for example but they do leave hairs on you, furniture etc. My boys beds actually smell worse than he does himself grin I have visited my friends house before, she has 4 greys and her house doesn't smell doggy at all!

I never used a crate. I wanted to but my boy is tall, he can rest his chin on the dining table with no trouble at all. To get a crate big enough to accommodate his height I may as well have bought a 6'x4' shed grin grin If you wanted to have a crate type area of his/her own maybe you could get a pen instead?

TheCunnyFunt Fri 28-Nov-14 20:25:14

Sorry, my friend (she actually runs Milgi Coats that I linked to upthread) had 4, she very sadly lost one at the weekend so she now has 3 sad

VivaLeBeaver Fri 28-Nov-14 20:25:49

They don't really smell apart from the farts! My old grey was very gassy!

Try and get them used to teeth cleaning with a tooth brush from the start. They're prone to tooth decay. Mine had to have yearly dentals at £400 a time, not covered by insurance. And it sadly killed her.

TheCunnyFunt Fri 28-Nov-14 22:12:01

Something like this would work well for a Greyhound. the floor space in this pen is a bit bigger than my boys mattress (which is 100cmx75cm) so it's plenty big enough for a greyhound to lie down in.

RudePepper Sat 29-Nov-14 00:26:08

We were (past tense!) thinking about a greyhound too but I have been given conflicting advice from rescue people to what people seem to say on here. The rescue people I have spoken to seem to say 'no' to off lead other than on beach etc and that any small furry (ie small dog, cat) is a potential meal for a greyhound/lurcher as that is their instinct. I'm really confused now!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 29-Nov-14 08:29:16

It depends on the dog. I walked mine off lead every day. She lived happily with two cats. Never chased squirrels. Would ignore the chickens in the garden.

Funghoul Sat 29-Nov-14 17:17:01

My brothers have chased and caught rabbits, licked them then let them go!

GobblersKnob Sat 29-Nov-14 17:42:10

I have an EGLR too, they are fantastic at finding the right dog for the right home imo, so allow yourself to be guided by them rather than finding a dog on their website that you like the look of iyswim.

They have loads of returning dogs atm, guess it's getting close to christmas sad

I have a whippet and a longdog, both are brilliant in the house and good with the kids, fine to be left. One is a fox poo magnet so permanently stinks, the other for no known reason, throws an enormous amount of coat every six months and the whole house is covered in hair for a few weeks, just so you know there can be unexpected hair issues wink

They will sleep in their own beds at night in the summer (in our room) but in the winter they insist on sleeping in our bed, they are not a breed/type for anyone who doesn't want dogs on the furniture/beds.

They are insanely loving, kind, gentle, stubborn, deaf, stupid.

They daily occasionally do wall of death runs around the house at top speed and pay no attention to humans in the way, and will use you as a launch pad.

Your 18 month old will definitely get knocked over, your seven year old quite possibly, it won't be malicious and they will be fine but will you be okay with that?

They have both caught squirrels in the past, which isn't nice to see, but is part of their nature (for some not all), they both HATE cats and would undoubtably kill one should the opportunity arise, this needs to be managed to the best of my ability. Both are totally uninterested in any birds (chicken, ducks, geese) and are completely safe around them, one is livestock (sheep, cows, deer etc) safe, one, not so much.

A greyhound is likely to be much more laid back, lurchers/longdogs depend on what has gone into their make up, a 3/4 collie, 1/4 greyhound for example, would be likely (not definitely) to be active and energetic and need considerable exercise and training. Whereas a 1/2 greyhound 1/2 whippet would be mostly asleep and occasionally running like a loon.

Just my own musings, as a distraction from writing the essay I am avoiding....grin

NeatFreak Sat 29-Nov-14 20:30:20

This is all so useful, thanks. I'm ok with the children being knocked over �� toddler dc is used to being bashed around with her older siblings and she will soon learn the boundaries!
I've deliberately not looked at any specific dogs as I want to get all the practicalities sorted first then let the rescue guide me, regardless of how long it takes (I know this will be frustrating!) I do keep gazing at dogs we pass wondering what breed they are though ��

Chandon Sat 29-Nov-14 20:40:56

My greyhound cross (lurcher) does not sleep on sofas or beds, we made her her own fab bed made of 2 thick duvets in a cover, in front of the Aga.Best bed in the house grin

She is very good about sticking to the house rules (not on the sofa, not upstairs) but gets spoiled with fleecy pjs and lots of cuddles and walks.

Greys and lurchers are a great source of love and joy, good luck smile

kilmuir Sat 29-Nov-14 20:47:00

They are lovely . Me and mum have had5 rescued ones between us. Only one of them chased small animals. He often caught wild rabbits. He was the only onewho was not an exracer.
They sleep a lot. Never had any issues with my children. I have 4. But my children know boundaries/ howto treat a dog etc

Mitzi50 Tue 02-Dec-14 18:40:04

I have an ex racer, he is incredibly gentle and quiet around the house. He is very lazy and has selective deafness when he is told to get off the sofa. He has killed a couple of wild rabbits that strayed into the back garden and I don't let him of off the lead when we're out walking because I am not sure how he would react if he saw a cat.

They are great dogs - I would tell the rescue what you are looking for in a dog and let them choose a suitable dog for you

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